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This Date in Playoff History: May 21

by Adam Schwartz
1978: Bruins right wing Bobby Schmautz scored 6:22 into the first overtime of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, tying the series with the Canadiens at two games apiece after the Habs had won the first two games. This win, however, would be Boston's last in the series. Montreal proceeded to win its third of three consecutive Cups with a nucleus that included Hall of Famers Guy Lafleur, Larry Robinson and Ken Dryden. Schmautz scored a modest 23 goals in the regular season for the Bruins, but picked it up in the playoffs and led the team with 11 goals in 14 games, which were six more goals than any other Bruin.

1979: Montreal center Jacques Lemaire scored two goals as the Canadiens beat the Rangers 4-1 in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final clinching the Habs' fourth straight Cup. This was Lemaire's last game in his illustrious 12-season, Hall-of-Fame career, which saw him win the Cup eight times.

1981: Islanders center Butch Goring scored twice as the Islanders beat the Minnesota North Stars 5-1 in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final to win their second of four consecutive Cups. Goring, who was acquired from the Kings for Billy Harris and Dave Lewis at the trade deadline in 1980, was thought to be the missing piece for the Islanders. Goring finished fourth in scoring on the team behind Hall of Famers Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier and Denis Potvin with 20 points.

1992: Left wing Kevin Stevens scored four goals in Pittsburgh's 5-1 win against the Bruins, giving the Penguins a 3-0 lead in their conference final series. Pittsburgh would eliminate the Bruins in the fourth game of the series with another 5-1 win and advanced to the Stanley Cup Final where they swept the Blackhawks in four games. The Penguins won an astounding 11 games in a row in the playoffs, which tied a playoff record that still stands today. Stevens had a career high 69 assists, 123 points and 254 penalty minutes during the regular season and finished second on the team to captain Mario Lemieux with 13 goals and 28 points during the playoffs.

Avalanche center Joe Sakic scored just 24 seconds into overtime in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, giving Colorado a 2-1 win and eliminating the Blues. This was the third game in a row in this series that was decided in overtime, with the Avalanche winning two of the three. Colorado proceeded to win its second Cup in franchise history by beating the New Jersey Devils in seven games.

Senators defenseman Chris Phillips scored at 15:51 of overtime as Ottawa beat New Jersey 2-1 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals and tied the series going back to Ottawa after the Devils had taken a 3-1 lead in the series. Despite a heavy Senators' onslaught in a tied third period in Game 7 in which Martin Brodeur was at his best, New Jersey left wing Jeff Friesen scored the game-winning goal. The Devils advanced to their third Stanley Cup Final in four seasons where they were able to win their third Cup in franchise history by beating the Ducks in seven games. 

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